Anti-gay statements removed from Warren's Web site

Language that described homosexuality as "an enormous sin" was deleted from the Internet home of the controversial pastor who'll give the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration.

Published December 23, 2008 4:35PM (EST)

Rick Warren just can't keep his name out of the news. Last week, Salon's Mike Madden and Tom Schaller detailed both Barack Obama's controversial selection of Warren to speak at the inauguration and the backlash the pick sparked among many of Obama's liberal supporters.

The main source for the animosity caused by the Warren selection was the pastor's intolerance of homosexuality. For example, the Web site for Warren's Saddleback Church contained language that said "someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at [sic] a member of Saddleback." The site also described homosexuality as "an enormous sin."

Now comes news that that language has been removed from the site. It's unclear whether the removal was a direct consequence of the furor brought about by Obama's pick of Warren, but Americablog's John Aravosis, who caught the change, has a few unanswered questions about the matter. Aravosis writes, "So does Rick Warren now welcome gays, all gays, as members of his church? Or is he simply embarrassed of his views -- embarrassed of God's views, per Warren's own admission? And if Warren is embarrassed of God's views, then what is he doing as a public spokesman on religion?" 

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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